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French fashion designer Sonia Rykiel no more
26
Aug '16
Models wearing designs by Sonia Rykiel
Models wearing designs by Sonia Rykiel
French fashion designer Sonia Rykiel, nicknamed the Queen of Knitwear, has died at the age of 86, after suffering from Parkinson’s disease for some time. Rykiel typified a new generation of designers who launched their own labels outside the established system of Haute Couture. Her relaxed striped knitwear was a shift away from more formal suits.

Rykiel innovated not just with the cut of her garments, but also with her philosophy of fashion. She collaborated with the popular French mail-order company Les 3 Suisses in 1977 (shock! horror!) and then released a renegade fragrance, 7ème sens, the following year.
 
She designed sweaters closer to the body than they had ever been. She rejected linings and embraced exposed seams, defiantly decreeing that the sweater should be worn against the naked skin. Her clothes were black; they were striped. She made clothes for women who wanted total freedom of movement: women who were explorers, lovers, and nomads.
 
Declared ‘Queen of Knits’ by Women’s Wear Daily in 1972, Sonia Rykiel became an international icon. The movement she created was intimately linked to the ready-to-wear revolution taking place in 1970s Paris. She urged women to be eccentric, seductive, mysterious, and to create their own style.
 
Alongside her mother Nathalie, she created the Rykiel Enfant line in 1983; in 1989 she launched Sonia Rykiel’s little sister, Inscription Rykiel, rechristened Sonia By Sonia Rykiel in 1999. (RKS)
 

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